Growing up, often times I heard in church “many are the called, but few are chosen.” It constantly resonated in my heart, “many… but few…” What did this mean? Why are only a few chosen? And though those verses in Matthew 22 talk about the parable of the wedding, this I feel is something that is very true today. Many feel called to a life in ministry, but often times they may end up not living up to the call.

The year for me was 2007. November. It was hard for me to able to fathom this, because I didn’t come from a “pastoral family” or a family that grew up knowing what “a life in ministry” was. Summer 2008 I attended an internship that focuses on discipleship and helping young people develop their talents. I was terrified to attend this place. I was no longer home, no longer with the my family, the people whom I had grown accustomed to. I left home, my comfort zone, and all that was dear to me to spend 2 months in intense time learning from great leaders in different areas of ministry.

To not make the story long, this is where the call to do something different with my life started. It was no longer what I wanted to do or where I wanted to be. I applied and attended Southwestern Assemblies of God University. That was another place where God continued to mold me and give me the tools I needed for what I will continue to do the rest of my life. At SAGU, I was involved in church planting, kids ministry, media, and missions. I had the privilege to go overseas to the beautiful nation of Thailand where my heart was stirred with a new passion, to better serve the broken and the lost.

It’s been 7 years, I’m now 25 years old. But the things I’ve learned over the years have been ever welcomed. Sometimes I think I learned my lesson all too late, but God is always on time. You never think you’re ready for anything, but with God, you’re going to be!

Today, I want to dedicate this to any young woman who has that passion in her heart for serving God. Don’t underestimate your self. Don’t think that you’re not able to accomplish what you think God has called you to do, and don’t put a period where God has only put a comma. Learn from your mistakes, give yourself second, third four chances.

These are a few things I’ve learned from being in ministry this far:

1) Trust God Every day. In Everything. It doesn’t matter what it is, just trust IN Him. He really does have it all together, so everything will work out for good.

2) Seek Guidance Don’t venture out to do things without a spiritual covering. Have God lead you where He needs you to go, but make sure that it is coming from God and not just because you want it that way. The other way to make sure you’re hearing from God correctly is by also seeking guidance from someone above you.

3) Have a MentorMentoring is something we all SHOULD have. I strongly believe that one must seek a Godly mentor, someone who will not hold back on giving you advice, and who will always have your best interest at heart.

4) Daily Surrender And this isn’t just an “ok I give up,” but it’s a daily surrender to His word, to His love, to be Jesus with skin today. Surrendering your “I wants” for what He wants. It’s not easy, but it is doable

5) Self Development This comes from reading: your bible, books, more bible. You won’t get better until you start educating your self some more on what it is you want to pursue. The more knowledge you have on something, the better it will be on the long run. How will you do ______ if you’re not educated on ______.

There’s many women in ministry that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting & have had the opportunity to hear their stories and learn from them. Every single one of them has their story: their before and their after. And that’s what makes them, well, “them.” But what is going to make you - “you.” I want to challenge you to do something different from this day on. Whether it is reading a book that will help you reach another level, seeking counsel from someone who will mentor you, or simply surrendering your fears and worries to God. What will you do?

Sandy Araya is a young woman who is passionate about helping young students, especially young women understand their purpose in life and see beauty in the pain they’ve experienced. Sandy is originally from Brownsville Texas, and now resides in San Antonio, TX, where she currently serves at in Community Bible Church. Sandy has served under different youth ministries, where she taught different areas such as leadership and discipleship. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology along with an associates in Bible. She is wanting to pursue her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. Sandy’s desire is to help people see their full potential and help them get on track in understanding their identity in Christ. 

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